Skene's Four Ancient Books of
XLI. BOOK OF TALIESSIN
In one year
One that provides
Wine and bounty and mead,
And manliness without enmity,
And a musician excelling,
With a swarm of spears about him.
With ribbands at their heads,
And their fair appearances.
Every one went from his presence,
10 They came into the conflict,
And his horse under him.
Purposing the affair of Mynaw.
And more harmony,
Advantage flowing about his hand.
Eight score of one colour
Of calves and cows.
Milch cows and oxen.
And every fair need.
I should not be joyful
20 If Urien were slain.
He is dear before he went.
A Saxon shivering, trembling,
With hair white-washed,
And a bier his destiny,
With a bloody face.
For the blood of men a little protected.
And a man of the intrenchment persevering,
Whose wife is a widow.
Mine is the wine of the prince,
30 Mine is the wine of frequent parties,
My chance, my aid, my head.
Since the rising up will not cause
A striking fronting one another.
What is the noise: is it the earth that quakes?
Or is it the sea that swells?
Whitened, clinging together, against the infantry.
If there is a cry on the hill,
Is it not Urien that terrifies?
40 If there is a cry in the valley,
Is it not Urien that pierces?
If there is a cry in the mountain,
Is it not Urien that conquers?
If there is a cry on the slope,
Is it not Urien that wounds?
If there is a sigh on the dyke,
Is it not Urien that is active?
A cry of a journey over the plain,
A cry in every meandering vale.
50 Nor will one sneeze or two
Protect from death.
He would not be on famine
With spoils surrounding him.
Over-querulous, trailing, of a blue tint.
Like death was his spear,
Killing his enemy.
And until I fail in old age,
In the sore necessity of death,
May I not be smiling,
60 If I praise not Urien.